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Music Theory for Computer Musicians by Michael Hewitt

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Modulation

Because of the strength of resolution to the tonic triad, the dominant seventh chord has always represented the main agent for a change of key in a song—called modulation. It is important to remember that when you are trying to change key, the target chord is the dominant seventh of the new key, rather than the tonic. This is because the ear will only accept that a modulation has occurred when it registers a perfect cadence in the new key. Without such a cadence, the ear will register only a transitory shift toward that key.

This is why the minor mode is so vulnerable to alteration. It does not possess the requisite chord for a perfect cadence. So it needs to be chromatically altered in order to have one. This also highlights one of ...

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